ST. CHARLES – Not too long ago, Tom Keifer, former lead singer of the hard-rock band Cinderella, was told he would never sing again due to complications for a neurological condition.
But after undergoing rehabilitation and therapy, combined with hard work and determination, Keifer is not only singing again, but sounding better than ever. He's bringing his solo project, the Tom Keifer Band, back to the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles on Nov. 2, in support of the group's new album, "Rise."
"The goal was to capture a raw, heavy energy," Keifer said about the new music. "We wanted to capture the energy we reach on stage as a band. It's a good, high-energy, raw, hard-rock record."
Keifer and the band, which includes his songwriting partner and wife, Savannah Keifer, began writing songs for "Rise" during the six years they were touring in support of Keifer's debut solo record, 2013's "The Way Life Goes." Once that tour was over, the band hit the studio to record the new songs, which Keifer said was done in a more "traditional" sense.
"We recorded it over about six months in Nashville. The first record was recorded over a much longer period of time with session players," Keifer explained. "'Rise' has the least amount of overdubs of any record I've done, because we wanted to capture our live performances and how we play together. [The band] has a really strong bond both personally and musically, so it's been a great experience."
The first single, "The Death of Me," is a dark, heavy song about finding strength in adversity, Keifer explained. He said that after overcoming numerous challenges, including his vocal issues, a lot of his lyrics revolve around that theme.
"Finding light in the dark is a place I've always written from. There are references to dark things on the record, but there's usually something in every song that balances it out, that says 'you can overcome this.' Finding strength is something that inspires a lot of people and it's something that's real."
Keifer and Cinderella rose to the top of the charts in the 1980s, with hits such as "Don't Know What You Got ('Till It's Gone)," "Nobody's Fool" and "Coming Home." But with the arrival of Nirvana and grunge music in the early 1990s, Cinderella and most bands of that genre were all but forgotten. But Keifer and Cinderella continued to tour extensively from 1998 through 2012, when Keifer left the band to pursue a solo career.
And even though he's been playing live for decades, he said it never gets old.
"I still have the passion, but it comes in seasons for me. But when you hit that stage, you just get that lightning bolt of adrenaline," he said.
Fans who come to Saturday's show can expect to hear a variety of Cinderella's biggest hits, along with with a mix of songs from "The Way Life Goes" and "Rise."
"It's going to be a loud rock 'n' roll show," Keifer said. "I'm looking forward to (playing the Arcada). It's always a cool vibe, with a high-energy audience. It's a fun place to play."
L.A. Guns will open the show, which begins at 8 p.m. Nov. 2. The Arcada Theatre is at 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit arcadalive.com.